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New York’s Interim CIO Calls for ‘Tangible Accomplishments’

Joseph Rabito has been named interim director and chief information officer for the Office of Information Technology Services. In a memo to staff, he outlined a push for efficiency and better investment of state resources.

New York state government veteran Joseph J. Rabito has been named as the interim director and chief information officer for the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS).

The announcement came in an Aug. 16 email Rabito sent to ITS staff. In his message, he praised the trajectory the office has been on since 2012, which marked a large-scale consolidation effort across dozens of agencies.

Rabito assumes the role following the Aug. 15 retirement of Bob Samson, who had served as CIO since April 2017. 

Rabito, who was not immediately available for comment, told ITS workers his focus will be on evaluating how the different state agencies are procuring and putting in place the kinds of technology for fulfilling their missions.

“Our immediate emphasis will be on tangible accomplishments,” Rabito wrote.

ITS will also work closely with Jeremy M. Goldberg, deputy secretary to the governor for Technology and Innovation and the state’s budget office, “to put a premium on the successful completion of projects,” Rabito wrote. 

“We will welcome new methods and approaches to enhance efficiency, and plan a responsible and effective investment of state resources,” he added.

In the memo, Rabito points to a career leading "large-scale change" and points to his service at the Office of General Services, the Executive Chamber and at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“As you are the team behind the state’s technology agency,” Rabito told the Office of Information Technology Services, “we know how familiar you must be with the unique challenges presented to all levels of government by the breakneck speed at which the technology sector develops. We believe our ability to keep pace with this rapidly changing environment has fallen short, and that must change.”

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.